I need them to be excited so I can play with them in order to establish an authentic connection. I am also great at calming them back down and centering their attention onto the camera when it’s time for pictures. There’s no need to stress that your children are showing “bad” behavior or attention skills… they’re being kids and I honestly love the challenge!
1. Take some deep breaths. Deep breathing is a common relaxation method. It can quickly calm your stress level and you can do it anywhere. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth, counting slowly in your head while letting it all out.
2. Laugh. Laughter is a great way to release tension. It will also help your family relax to get some genuine smiles. Have everyone pretend to laugh and they will feel so ridiculous that they will actually laugh. This will ease everyone into relaxation mode.
3. Count down slowly (in your head) from 10. Take a deep breath between each number. If you’re still feeling super stressed, start the process over, back at 10.
4. Distract yourself. If your family isn’t cooperating and you are getting stressed, suggest that we play a game or take a walk. This will let some of the energy out and also give us some good interacting photos. Prior to your session, think of a short game that your family would enjoy – it could be something like duck, duck, goose, or dancing to head, shoulders, knees, and toes, etc.
You can also distract yourself by going to your ‘happy place.’ Try to take yourself out of the situation you’re in and let your mind wander.
5. Trace your hand. Take your finger and trace a figure eight on the palm of your opposite hand. This helps relieve stress and muscle tension.
6. Give lots of XOXOs. Not only will these make for cute poses, but one of the most effective ways to relieve stress is to hug someone or to kiss them. Gather your family in a big group hug, or give your husband a kiss and let your worries melt away.
So there you have it. When you trust me to photograph your family, you can rest assured: it’s going to be fun, and we’re going to get amazing images!